SB 1123 Expands California's Paid Family Leave Program to Help Active Duty Military Service Members and Their Families
Monday, Oct. 1, 2018
By Langenkamp Curtis & Price LLP
SB 1123 signed into law on September 27, 2018, expands the scope of the Family Temporary Disability Insurance Program. Under current state law, Paid Family Leave (within the Family Temporary Disability Insurance Program) provides benefits, including up to six weeks of wage replacement benefits, to individuals who take time off of work to care for a seriously ill child, spouse, parent, grandchild, sibling, or registered domestic partner, or to bond with a new minor child due to birth, adoption, or foster care placement. SB 1123 expands the Family Temporary Disability Insurance Program to include time off to attend to a “qualifying exigency” arising related to an individual’s spouse, registered domestic partner, parent, or child who is an active duty member of the United States Armed Forces. Those qualifying exigencies can include addressing any issue that arises from a call or order, attendance in an official ceremony, program, or event sponsored by the military that is related to the covered active duty, or arranging for alternative childcare for a child when the active duty or call to active duty necessitates a change in the existing childcare arrangement. SB 1123 only affects “covered active duty members,” meaning those members that are deployed in a foreign country. This bill puts California in alignment with New York and Washington, as those two states already include this qualifying exigency leave for members of the military in their respective Paid Family Leave programs. This bill provides help to workers whose family members are deployed overseas with the quick and sometimes drastic changes that deployment can cause. Although no one is ill or injured, family members often need time away from work to handle financial, legal, emotional, and logistical issues, and this bill provides for that time. The changes to the Family Temporary Disability Insurance Program will come into effect on January 1, 2021.
To see the text of Senate Bill 1123, please click here: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB1123